Buffalo, NY - The announcement from Governor Cuomo that the state will now operate a state park and help develop other property on Buffalo's waterfront is welcome news to some local entrepreneurs. They feel it's a potential shot in the arm for their development ideas.
That would include Tucker Curtin who runs the Dug's Dive restaurant near the Small Boat Marina and Gerry Buchheit who owns waterfront property.
Just as all the tables can be full at times at Dug's Dive, Tucker Curtin likes to fill a table as well with his site plans vision for the future of the waterfront at the marina. And he feels he can build on success saying "Be able to be increase our business for our customers and use more of this waterfront."
He is a tenant operator on the land owned currently by the NFTA and got a shoutout from the Governor yesterday.
With his location right near the Small Boat Harbor he is definitely thinking bigger. He plans to turn the current restaurant building, which he says is maxed out, into a convenience store/deli combo. And then wants to move into an expanded restaurant operation with a banquet operation into a now boarded up adjacent building which was used for boat storage.
Curtin says he was a waterfront pioneer seven years ago who toughed it out on the often overlooked waterfront to build up the business. Now he is really energized with the prospect of state involvement in the form of a new state park combining the marina and the Gallagher Beach swimming area.
Curtin says "We're ready to go. We're ready to talk. And we're ready to make some decisions. We know what we want down here. "
A State Parks spokeswoman says while there is plenty of excitement with a new state park, there are still plenty of discussions that will need to take place before the waterfront plan moves forward. Curtin says he is ready to talk and may work with partners to bid on some other nearby waterfront property.
Gerry Buchheit owns the 20 acre parcel which includes the old Freezer Queen plant. And while he has dropped his previous plan for condos there, he is still working to bring in a major commercial tenant for that location. He feels this news will help as he explains "As long as we can keep finding good things to put on the waterfront absolutely. But we hope that they remain aggressive and try doing the kinds of things that they're doing on the Inner Harbor and push it on the outer harbor. And if they do, there's some beautiful, beautiful space there. Beautiful clear water, views and great things for the public."
Buchheit also hopes to eventually bid on a site next to his property. It contains the Terminal A and B buildings. It is being marketed by the NFTA and may come under the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation. He envisions mixed use with some retail and recreation mix.